Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling is a trail-blazer, says under-21 manager Stuart Pearce


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The Independent Football

The England Under-21 manager, Stuart Pearce, has praised the winger Raheem Sterling as an example of the type of young home-grown talent he wants to see breaking into Premier League sides.

Sterling, 18, has been one of Liverpool's most impressive players in their difficult start to the season. He could now make his Under-21 debut in the first leg of the European Championship play-off against Serbia at Carrow Road tonight.

Sterling was added to the senior squad for the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine to gain experience. Pearce said: "He has been in our development age groups prior to this season and had the fortunate opportunity to be with the seniors.

"He has fitted in really well [with the Under-21s]. He will bring the confidence he has got and that [Liverpool manager] Brendan [Rodgers] has given him. He has got his tail up and looks a real handful."

Pearce is upbeat about emerging talent. "When you look at Liverpool there is [Jonjo] Shelvey, Andre Wisdom has just got in the team recently and Raheem has got into the team."